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better half

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noun
  1. a person's wife.
  2. a person's husband.
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Origin of better half

First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for better half

consort, helpmate, husband, mate, partner, rib, spouse, wife, espoused, helpmeet

Examples from the Web for better half

Historical Examples of better half

  • That you had a better-half somewhere, to which you belong when you are at home.

    Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848

    Various

  • He would have recognised the actress, however, if his better-half had allowed him to do so.

  • Count Ambrose and his better-half stayed in the castle; the good mother would never leave her nursling.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • When we left the house in the morning I saw Benry's better-half placing a few eggs in water to boil over the fire.

    Alone with the Hairy Ainu

    A. H. Savage Landor

  • They had wrangled all the thirty years they had been married; but Toine was good-humored, while his better-half grew angry.


British Dictionary definitions for better half

better half

noun
  1. jocular one's spouse
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with better half

better half

1

Also, better part. The larger amount or majority of something, as in I won't be long; the better half of this job is complete, or I have spent the better part of my life in this city. Sir Philip Sidney used the first term in Arcadia (1580): “I ... shall think the better half of it already achieved.” The variant appears in a well-known proverb, discretion is the better part of valor.

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2

Also, my better half. One's (my) spouse, as in I'm not sure if we can go; I'll have to check with my better half. Originally this expression meant “a close friend or lover,” and by the 16th century it referred to either a wife or lover. Sidney used it in this way, again in Arcadia: “My dear, my better half (said he), I find I must now leave thee.” Today it tends to be used lightly for either husband or wife. “Late 1500s”

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.